You must pay employees at least the statutory minimum wage, either the National Living Wage (NLW) or the National Minimum Wage (NMW), depending on the employee’s age. From 1 April 2021, the age threshold for payment of the NLW is lowered and the rates of the NLW and the NMW are increased.

National Living Wage

The NLW is the statutory minimum wage that you must pay older workers. Prior to 1 April 2021, the NLW is payable to workers aged 25 and older. From 1 April 2021, the threshold is lowered and from that date, you must pay the NLW to workers aged 23 and older.

National Minimum Wage

The NMW is payable to workers who are at least school leaving age but who are not entitled to the NLW. There are three NMW age bands — workers aged 16 and 17, workers aged 18 to 20, and workers aged 21 and over but below the age of entitlement to the NLW. Prior to 1 April 2021, the last band applies to workers aged 21 to 24; from 1 April 2021, it applies to workers aged 21 and 22.

Apprentice rate

A lower rate of the NMW is payable to apprentices who are aged 19 and under, or who are over the age of 19, but in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Rates from 1 April 2021

The following table shows the NLW and the NMW rates that are payable from 1 April 2021.

NLW: Workers aged 23 and above NMW: Workers aged 21 and 22 NMW: Workers aged 18 to 20 NMW: Workers aged 16 and 17 NMW: Apprentice rate Accommodation offset
£8.91 per hour£8.36 per hour£6.56 per hour£4.62 per hour£4.30 per hours£8.36 per day
£58.52 per week

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Talk to us about what the changes to the NLW and NMW mean for your business.